Below are sample settlement amounts and jury payouts in Massachusetts personal injury accident and malpractice lawsuits.
Massachusetts Injury Verdicts and Settlements
- 2023, Massachusetts: $147,000 Verdict. The plaintiff was attending a family member’s birthday at a restaurant owned and maintained by defendant Breakaway Inc. and was attempting to enter the property when he tripped and fell due to a step-up at the entryway of the building and suffered multiple fractures on his leg. The plaintiff alleged the defendant was negligent in failing to properly warn guests that a high step-up existed between the exterior and interior threshold of the building and utilizing a dangerous and defective style of door closer system.
- 2022, Massachusetts: $38,000 Verdict. A man was T-boned at the intersection of Hyde Park Avenue and River Street in Boston. He suffered personal injuries. The man alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. He claimed she failed to maintain an appropriate lookout, yield the right-of-way, and avoid a collision. The jury awarded $38,000.
- 2022, Massachusetts: $6,200 Verdict. A 48-year-old man was sideswiped. He suffered cervical and lumbar strains and sprains, a left knee contusion, and left shoulder impingement syndrome. The man alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. He claimed she ran a stop sign and failed to yield the right-of-way. The jury awarded $6,200.
- 2021, Massachusetts: $106,000 Verdict. A woman danced on a tavern’s elevated dance platform. She fell from the platform. The woman tore her right ACL. She underwent an ACL reconstruction and physical therapy. The woman experienced residual pain and decreased knee mobility. She alleged negligence against the tavern. The woman claimed it failed to install fall prevention equipment, adequately light the premises, warn patrons of the hazard, and follow Massachusetts building codes. She received $106,000.
- 2021, Massachusetts: $7,000,000 Verdict. A 52-year-old schoolteacher was struck. She suffered head trauma. The woman also sustained a scalp laceration, a skull fracture, an elbow laceration, a sacral abrasion, and spinal tenderness. She died several days later. The woman’s family alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. They claimed he failed to yield to a pedestrian and negligently drove while legally blind in one eye. The family received $7,000,000.
- 2021, Massachusetts: $2,000,000 Settlement. A 45-year-old man suffered chronic right nostril congestion and nosebleeds for two weeks. He presented to a nurse practitioner. The man was diagnosed with a cold. He presented to his primary care physician four months later. The man complained of left nostril nosebleeds and worsening congestion. He was diagnosed with allergic rhinitis. The man received Zyrtec and Flonase. His symptoms failed to resolve. The man presented to another nurse practitioner. He was told to continue his treatments. The man presented to a specialist nine months later. His CT scan revealed nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The man died shortly after being diagnosed. His family alleged negligence against the primary care physician and nurse practitioners. They claimed they delayed his treatments and failed to timely make a specialist referral. This case settled for $2,000,000.
- 2021, Massachusetts: $125,000 Settlement. A 14-year-old pedestrian was struck at a Lynn crosswalk. He fractured his left distal ulna and radius. The boy received a splint. He underwent a wrist repair ten days later. The boy wore a cast for four weeks. He underwent physical therapy for two additional weeks. The boy’s father alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. He claimed he failed to maintain an appropriate lookout and safely brake his vehicle. This case settled for $125,000.
- 2020, Massachusetts: $1,950,000 Settlement. A 35-year-old woman was hospitalized for pneumonia. Her symptoms resolved. The woman underwent two follow-up X-rays one and seven months later. They revealed a lung lesion. However, the radiologists failed to report it. Three years later, the woman underwent a third CT scan. She was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. The woman was given a 10 percent chance of survival. She alleged negligence against the radiologists. The woman claimed they improperly interpreted her X-rays and delayed her lung cancer diagnosis. She argued that a timely diagnosis would have increased her survival chances. This case settled for $1,950,000.
- 2020, Massachusetts: $1,000,000 Verdict. A 46-year-old cyclist was struck. He suffered a concussion, dislocated right shoulder, a fractured right humeral head, a left rotator cuff tear, a neck injury, contusions, and abrasions. The man was left with cognitive issues and depression. He alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. The man claimed she excessively sped and failed to maintain an appropriate lookout. A jury awarded him $1,000,000.
- 2020, Massachusetts: $2,850,000 Verdict. A 71-year-old man underwent neck surgery. During the procedure, the orthopedist misplaced a surgical screw. As a result, the man suffered nerve compression and bleeding around a cervical artery. He wore a halo brace for six months. The man suffered an infection. He also experienced residual neck pain. The man’s arms lost significant mobility. He now required home nursing care. The man alleged negligence against the orthopedist. He claimed he failed to properly perform the neck procedure and timely address his surgical injuries. The jury awarded $2,850,000.
- 2020, Massachusetts: $300,000 Verdict. A 53-year-old farmer was struck by a tractor’s trailer at a work site. The impact threw him about forty feet. The man suffered spinal radiculopathy. He underwent injections. The man was left with right limb tingling and numbness throughout his right limbs. He alleged negligence against the trucking company. The man claimed its employee negligently released the trailer tailgate. A Worcester County jury awarded $300,000.
Massachusetts Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in personal injury malpractice or accident claim in Massachusetts is three years. The statute of limitations is a usually hard deadline to file a lawsuit.
Massachusetts Minors Have Longer Deadline to Sue
Minors have a longer statute of limitations for minors bringing birth injury or medical malpractice claims. The deadline to sue for minors is three years from the date the cause of action accrues, or until age nine years for minors who are less than six years of age at the time the cause of action accrues. There is also a hard statute of repose of seven years from the date of the act or omission that caused the injury.
The deadline for other tort claims – such as a car accident lawsuits – is even longer. In these cases, the victim has until her 21st birthday.
Massachusetts Discovery Rule
Massachusetts has a discovery rule. The time to file a claim begins to accrue when the plaintiff knows, or reasonably should have learned, that she suffered an injury from the defendant’s conduct. So the question is whether a reasonably prudent person in the plaintiff’s situation should have discovered the cause of her injuries.
Massachusetts Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations
Massachusetts wisely has a different statute of limitations for minor children who have been sexual abused. Lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of a minor have “within 35 years of the acts alleged to have caused an injury or condition or within 7 years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that an emotional or psychological injury or condition was caused by said act, whichever period expires later; provided, however, that the time limit for commencement of an action under this section is tolled for a child until the child reaches eighteen years of age.”
Massachusetts Comparative Fault Rule
The concept of comparative or shared fault applies in cases where the plaintiff who files a personal injury lawsuit is found to be partly at fault for causing their own injury. Under comparative fault, each party is responsible for their own percentage share of fault in an accident and a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by his or her share. For example, let’s say Jack and Jill get in a car accident and Jack sues Jill. Jill is found to be 70% at fault and Jaack is 30% at-fault for the accident. Under comparative fault, Jack’s damages for the accident would be reduced by 30% to account for his share of fault.
In a pure comparative fault system, the plaintiff can still recover no matter how high his or her percentage share of fault is. So in the example above, even if Jack was found to be 90% at-fault, he would still be able to get damages, they would just be reduced by 90%. Massachusetts has adopted a modified comparative fault rule, under which plaintiffs are barred from recovering any damages if their share of fault exceeds 50%.
Strict Liability for Dog Bite Cases
Traditionally, if dog attacked and injured someone, the owner was only liable if they had reason to know that the dog was aggressive (i.e., if they had attacked or bitten someone before). Massachusetts has eliminate this rule and adopted what is known as “strict liability” for dog attack cases.
If any dog” [injures a person or their property, the dog owner] “shall be liable for such damage, unless such damage shall have been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog.
Product Liability Law in Massachusetts
Claims relating to defective or dangerous products that cause injury or harm to consumers are governed by Massachusetts product liability law. The applicable law for product liability claims in Massachusetts is derived from a combination of both case law and statutory law. This summary provides an very brief overview of Massachusetts product liability law.
Under Massachusetts law, a manufacturer or seller of a product can be held liable if that product is defective and that defect causes injuries or harm. Massachusetts law acknowledges the 3 basic types of product defects as identified in the Restatement of Torts:
- Manufacturing Defects: a manufacturing defect is something that occurs during the assembly process rending the product defective and potentially dangerous.
- Design Defects: a design defect occurs when the product is manufactured correctly, but there is something inherent in its design that makes it defective and dangerous (e.g., an ingredient that causes cancer).
- Failure to Warn: a product can be considered defective if it is sold without proper warnings or instructions that enable users to avoid potential risks.
Massachusetts Mass Tort Claims
There are many nationwide mass torts or “class actions” that involve countless Massachusetts residents as prsopective plaintiffs, including claims our law firm is handling across the country such as:
Tylenol autism lawsuit: new studies have determined that using Tylenol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy can cause the baby to develop autism or ADHD. This has prompted a growing class action lawsuit by parents of children with autism and ADHD.
Hair relaxer lawsuit: recent evidence has shown that long-term use of chemical hair relaxer products (most commonly used by African American women) can cause uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, and other conditions. This has prompted hundreds of women to file hair relaxer lawsuits.
Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Laws
Any lawsuit alleging professional negligence against a licensed doctor, nurse, hospital or other licensed healthcare provider in Massachusetts is subject to a special set of rules and laws applicable to medical malpractice cases.
3 Years for Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice lawsuits in Massachusetts are subject to the same 3-year statute of limitations that applies to general tort claims. The 3-years begins from the date of the injury or, if the malpractice is not reasonably obvious, then the discovery rule applies and the 3-years does not begin to run until the malpractice is known or should have been known.
7-Year Statute of Repose for Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Claims
In Massachusetts, medical malpractice lawsuits are subject to a statute of repose law that sets a maximum limit on how long a plaintiff has to file a claim. The Massachusetts statute of repose for medical malpractice cases is 7-years from the date of the injury. This 7-year limit applies regardless of when the statute of limitations might expire under the discovery rule. Mass. G.L. c. 231, § 60D.
Damages Cap in Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Claims
Massachusetts has a statute that imposes a maximum cap on the amount of non-economic damages (i.e., damages for mental pain & suffering) in medical malpractice cases. Mass. G.L c. 231, § 60H. The law states that juries may not award more than $500,000 for “pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment and other items of general damages.” There is, however, an exception to this cap that allows more than $500k to be awarded if the jury finds that there is “substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement, or other special circumstances.”
Review By Malpractice Panel Required Before Filing Lawsuit
Massachusetts law requires all prospective plaintiffs in medical malpractice suits to submit their claims for review by a malpractice tribunal prior to filing a lawsuit in court. The tribunal reviews the facts of the case and the plaintiff’s claims and issues an advisory opinion as to whether the claims have any merit. If the advisory opinion finds that there is evidence of malpractice, it can be used in court by the plaintiff. If a plaintiff is unsuccessful at the tribunal, they are required to post a $6,000 bond which will be forfeited if the case is lost. G. L. c. 231, § 60B
Hiring a Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer
Our firm handles serious injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Massachusetts by working with local partner firms. We compensate our Massachusetts lawyers out of our own attorneys’ fees so it doesn’t cost you anything to have two law firms instead of one. And you only owe a fee if you get settlement compensation or a jury payout for you.
If you were hurt and believe you have a potential civil tort claim, click here for a free no-obligation consultation or call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free consultation online.